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PROLOGUE

By Mr. POPE,

To a Play for Mr. Dennis's Benefit, in

1733, when he was old, blind, and in great Distress, a little before his Death,

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S when that Hero, who in each Campaign,
Had brav'd the Goth, and many a Vandal

flain,
Lay Fortune-struck, a spectacle of Woe!
Wept by each Friend, forgiv'n by ev'ry Foe:
Was there a gen’rous, a reflecting mind, 5
But pitied BELISARIUs old and blind?

NOTES. VER. 6. But fitied Belisarius, etc.] Nuthing could be more happily imagined than this allusion, or finelier conducted. And the continued pleasantry fo delicately touched, that it took nothing from the fulf fatisfaction the Critic, who heard it, had in his merit, or the Audience in their charity

With so masterly a hund has the Poct profecut d, in this benevolent irony, that end, which he suppofcd Dennis himself, had he toewit to fe, would have the ingenuity to approve.

This dreaded Sat'risl, Dennis will confefs,
Foe to his pride, but Fri.rid to bis Distriss.

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Was there a Chief but melted at the Sight?
A common Soldier, but who clubb'd his Mite?
Such, such emotions should in Britons rise,
When press’d by want and weakness Dennis lies;
Dennis, who long had warr’d with modern Huns,
Their Quibbles routed, and defy'd their Puns;
A desp’rate Bulwark, sturdy, firm, and fierce
Against the Gothic Sons of frozen verse:
How chang'd from him who made the boxes
groan,

15 And shook the stage with Thunders all his own! Stood up to dalh each vain Pretender's hope, Maul the French Tyrant, or pull down the Pope! If there's a Briton then, true bred and born,

19 Who holds Dragoons and wooden shoes in scorn;

NOTES. VER. 7. Was there a Chief, etc.] The fine figure of the Commander in that capital Picture of Belisarius a: Chiswick, supplied the P et with this : eautiful idei.

Ver. 1 2. Their Quibbles routed, and defy'd their Puns ; ] See Dunciad, Note on v. 63. B. I.

VER. 13. A desp'rate Bulwark, etc.] See Dunc. Note on v. 268. B. II.

VER. 16. And shock the Stage with Thunders all his own!] See Duni. Note on v. 226. B II.

VER. 17. Sto.d up to dash, etc.] See Dunc. Note on v. 173. B III.

VER. 18. Maul the French Tyrant -] See Dunc. Note on V. 413 B. II. Ibid. or pull down the Pope !] See Dunc. Note on v. 63. B.I.

If there's a Critic of diftinguish'd rage;
If there's a Senior, who contemns this

age; Let him to night his just ailistance lend, And be the Critic's, Briton's, Old Man's Friend.

NOTES. VER. 21. If there's a critic of diftinguiti di age.] See Dur.. Notes on v. jud. BI.

M A CER:

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CH A R A C T E R.

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Set up

HEN simple Macer, now of high renown,

First fought a Poet's Fortune in the Town, 'Twas all th' Ambition his high soul could feel, To wear red stockings, and to dine with Steel. Some Ends of verse his Betters might afford,

5 And gave the harmless fellow a good word.

with these he ventur'd on the Town, And with a borrow'd Play, out-did poor Crown. There he stop'd short, nor since has writ a tittle, But has the wit to make the most of little : Like stunted hide-bound Trees, that just have got Sufficient sap at once to bear and rot. Now he begs Verse, and what he gets commends, Not of the Wits his foes, but fools his friends. 14

So some coarse Country Wench, almost decay'd, Trudges to town, and first turns Chambermaid;

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Aukward and fupple, each devoir to pay;
She flattters her good Lady twice a day;
Thought wondrous honest, tho' of mean degree,
And strangely lik'd for her Simplicity:
In a translated Suit, then tries the Town,
With borrow'd lins, and Patches not her own:
But just endur'd the Winter the began,
And in four Vonths a batter'd Harridan.
Now nothing left, but wither'd, pale, and Ihrunk,
To Lawd for others, and go shares with Punk.

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